How we got started....
Focus Forward was founded in May 2014 by our owner, Tyler Dorsey. Having struggled with ADHD growing up, Tyler knew she wanted to create a space for others like her to be understood and receive the support they needed. When Focus Forward started, Tyler was working at her high school alma mater, Lexington Catholic High School, coaching students with ADHD. At the end of her first year at the high school, Tyler found that the students she was working with needed additional support outside of the school day. This is when Tyler started a tutoring program within Focus Forward.
Since then, Focus Forward has expanded to provide ADHD Life Coaching, Tutoring, Parent Coaching, Academic Coaching, 504/IEP Support, Teacher Training and More! We have clients of all ages from 5 to 55 and have a passion for helping people learn how to manage this crazy thing we call life. Focus Forward has lots of exciting new things coming up just for you so stay tuned to see what come up with next!
Meet the Team
Tyler Dorsey, CALC
Founder & ADHD Life Coach
I was diagnosed with ADHD in 5th grade and life at home was hard… think WWIII. The years went by and the story never changed. Every year the end of the semester would come and I was shocked that my grades were terrible and I had a million missing assignments. My teachers would help me get my work done so I could just barely pass and move onto the next year to do it all over again.
But when I was failing my first semester of college at Thomas More College, I knew something had to change. I couldn’t avoid what was happening anymore. Dropping out wasn’t going to help because ADHD was impacting all areas of my life, not just school.
Motivated by playing on the volleyball team and staying in school, I knew the stakes were high and I couldn’t do it alone. I asked for help from my coach, a couple of professors, and trusted friends and found a way to cut through the noise. Seeing the changes that were possible for myself, I knew I wanted to help others searching for answers to their struggles with ADHD.
The first time I told my story, I spoke to a group of parents at the high school where I was doing an internship in their program for students with ADHD & Learning Disabilities. I remember being so nervous. We expected around 40 parents for my talk, “Understanding Your ADHD Child.”
The night of the event, we had almost 80 people show up. My nerves were kicking as I took the stage. But as I told my story, they held onto every word. Moms & dads (yes… dads!) were tearing up. Through my story, they were able to recognize their kid’s struggles and better understand ADHD. This was the moment I knew this was where I was meant to be.
Seeing how I could be a bridge between kiddos with ADHD and their parents was a lightbulb moment for me. I went back to complete my masters in Educational Psychology at the University of Northern Colorado and then became a certified ADHD Life Coach. Over the past 7 years, I’ve worked with so many amazing students, their families and adults, and helped them find strategies that improve their day-to-day routines, work, and relationships. I also continue to share my own story with groups, conferences, and webinars.
When my son was in kindergarten, his teacher suggested that he might have ADHD. Since I had a background in behavior disorders, I started implementing strategies at home. I wasn’t sure this teacher really knew my son. What if they just weren’t a good fit?
The next year, his new teacher reached out again about ADHD. At our meeting, she disclosed that his test scores were not where they should be, but more devastating, she said other kids were avoiding him because he was becoming a known troublemaker. When I talked to my son at home, I realized he was really hurting.
Even though I was working with kids everyday in the public schools with behavior disorders, seeing the emotional toll it had on my son broke my heart. Medication made a huge difference, but he lagged socially for several years.
I became an expert at 504/IEP plans. The plans were usually generic without actionable steps. Even individualized ones had inconsistent follow through depending on the teachers and the school. ADHD has a stigma with teachers and parents, often putting the two parties at odds. Parents want the teachers to manage it
Amy Crump, MSW, CSW, CSSW
Educational Advocate & Parent Coach
without medication being involved; teachers want the parents to understand what they face each day.
In a twist of fate, after my son was diagnosed, I was also diagnosed ADHD. In retrospect, I could see the evidence from my grade school years (when I couldn’t keep my mouth shut and out of trouble, when I couldn’t master multiplication). On the one hand, I had come up with strategies that had served me. But no wonder I was having so much trouble establishing routines for my son when I had faced the same struggles for years.
Working in the Fayette County school system for 20 years as a social worker, the ADHD cases resonated with me. School counselors started pulling me into 504 meetings for students because I knew the importance of personalized plans and how to navigate the public school system.
Mostly interacting with students at school, I realized the parents were getting information second hand. There were so many steps that could be taken to simplify morning routines, create consistent behavior plans, and avoid common medication side effects—these parents didn’t need to reinvent the wheel! I wanted to bridge the gap and work directly with them.
When my son went to college, it was time to make that leap. Working at Focus Forward, I bring my unique knowledge and experience to parents and their kids with ADHD to help them find peace at home and school.